Fifteen years ago, Ron and Lisa Serea took a life changing vacation.
We made a decision that we don’t want to live this frantic lifestyle for the next 20 or 30 years.
Now, after years of planning, they’re ready to make their island dream come true.
Belize has always been on the top of our list.
But they’re in for some surprises.
Hey little man.
This is too.
And some not so much.
They are asking $525,000 dollars.
What? Watch as Lisa and Ron uncover the possibilities.
Got some pottery.
As House Hunters International goes to Belize.
This is paradise.
What time are you getting home today? Well, guess maybe 5:30 or six? Okay, so six.
We went down to Belize in 1997.
And we were just blown away witht he coral reefs in the water.
All Inclusive Resorts in Belize
And then the people were the most friendly people.
And then we started seriously talking about what is life going to be like after Charlotte? They made a ten year plan to work longer hours and save their money.
I’m an internet entrepenuer.
I do the programming side of websites.
I’m a speech pathologists.
My typical work day is about a 14 hour day.
Here, let me help you out here.
I’ll wake up at 5 am.
I’ll call my partners.
I’ve got the new screens done.
Sometimes we’ll stop at 9 o’clock at night.
I am not gonna miss this.
All right, guys.
The biggest thing that we’re excited about is not having to work as much.
Probably just volunteering at the schools.
Then you’re gonna end up having just one income.
How’s that gonna work out for you guys? Just have to live more simply.
Which i guess is the point.
We don’t have to buy shoes.
We really just want to wake up and look at each other and ask what do you want to do today, not what do we have to get done today.
It’d be great to get our own little island somewhere, but you guys are actually doing it.
It doesn’t seem right to rush through life without spending time with the person you love.
Belize all-inclusive Honeymoon
Ron and Lisa leave Charlotte, flying 1,300 miles, eager to make their dream of living in Belize a reality.
Formerly known as British Honduras, Belize is located on the northeastern coast of Central America.
The Belize barrior reef provides ideal conditions for scuba diving and snorkorling.
Natural preserves are perfect for wildlife sightings.
And Mayan ruins date back to 1,000 b.
Ron and Lisa’s final destination, San Pedro, is on the island of Ambergrease Key.
One of more than 450 off shore islands of the nation of Belize.
We’ve been dreaming about doing this for so long.
So it’s exciting that all the work and time that we spent is like we’re almost there.
My dream property in Belize would be a condo, so we don’t have to do any maintenance.
Two bedroom, two bathroom.
Second story so we have a private balcony.
I think the big challenge that we’re gonna have based on some of the prices that we’ve seen on the internet, we’re gonna have to raise our budget a little bit.
With Ron and Lisa’s wishlist in mind, real estate agent Ari Bender Trejo.
Knows the best way to find a beach front property.
I’m real excited to show Ron and Lisa properties by boat because they’ll really get a chance to see how beautiful the island is from the water.
Here we go.
Which is a huge selling point.
My biggest challenge will be to get these guys all the details that they want in this beach front property and still be able to come close to their budget.
Ari begins at the Grand Carib Belize Resort, two miles north of San Pedro’s town center.
The unit that we’re coming to see is a two bedroom, two bath unit on the second floor, ocean front.
It’s 1,200 square feet with a nice big veranda out front.
And it is listed at $475,000 dollars.
Are you ready to go take a look? Yep, let’s do it.
I think you’ll see it’s well worth it.
C’mon let’s go.
So welcome to unit 84.
These are all local exotic Belisian hardwoods.
The door, the shelves, this lovely dining room furniture.
Everything you see here all the furnishings are included, custom made for this space.
It’s a very nice open flow concept that we have here between the dining area, the living space and the kitchen.
I love the curves, it gives it such a nice feel.
Yeah, it’s definitely different.
And look at this view guys.
Oh man, come check it out.
Come sit down on the couch.
Let’s see if i could do this.
Could you sit here and get used to this view? i just love the bright colors and all the arches and doorways and hardwood.
The first thing that popped into my head was wow, what craftsmanship.
Everything seemed like they really thought this through.
It was pretty impressive.
Wow, this is so cute.
We have mahogany custom cabinetry.
Stainless steel appliances.
The countertop is not granite i guess? No it is not granite, it is corian.
But it does have some wonderful features aside from that.
Look at the view here.
So while you’re doing your dishes.
I love that it’s right on the beach.
So that’s great.
We don’t have to look out at somebody else who has a better view.
This is the master bedroom.
Again we have the vaulted ceiling.
But one of the things i really thought you guys would find special is this gorgeous large picture window view.
You were not wrong.
Let’s check out this outdoor space.
Check this out guys.
That is beautiful.
Isn’t that nice? i love looking at that boat dock.
It seems back home we have lots and lots of deck space.
I guess originally i was picturing something a little larger.
Maybe a table and chairs.
There are so many things that are nice about it.
The big thing is the $50,000 difference in the price.
Ron and Lisa differ in their priorities.
Lisa is really interested in that pretty location.
Whereas Ron wants to see those numbers translate into a good investment.
I can see why the price is where it is.
I can see there’s a lot of value here in terms of location.
I would love it if the price was lower.
I’m going to be taking you to a two bedroom, two bath unit on the second floor here.
Ari brings down the price, but Ron and Lisa’s expectatios will need to be lowered too.
Like to take a look? All right, let’s go.
After years of saving up for a simpler life, Ron and Lisa Serea are leaving their hectic lives and moving to Belize.
This is called green eguana.
Although the males can get to an orange brown color.
Oh there he is, i see him.
Oh, there he is.
I just want to spend more time with him.
We just want to play and live life and see what the world has to offer.
We’ll be giving up all the financial security, but at the same time we’ll be able to spend more time together.
And to be able to have more fun together.
We don’t see any monkeys in Charlotte.
I want to learn how to do that call.
There he is! Look at that, he’s coming over.
Hey little man.
This is so much better than Charlotte.
He’s just a wild monkey but he’s my friend.
With a plan to work less, they’re hoping to buy their dream home without depleting their savings.
It is listed for $475,000.
I mean you can see it’s a very nice open flow concept that we have here.
Look at the view.
Ari’s next house is a reality check.
She wants Ron and Lisa to see what their $420,000 will actually buy.
This place is gorgeous.
I love the pool.
You’ve got your restaurant over there.
Let me tell you a little bit about what we’re going to see here.
I’m going to be taking you to a two bedroom, two bath on the second floor here.
It’s actually over 1,700 square feet.
Wow, that’s big.
And one of the best things about this is the price.
Want to take a look? Yes, let’s go.
Okay guys, c’mon in.
Wow, this is really pretty.
Oh wow, this is great.
This is a great space for a desk.
I’m really excited about the price, and for all the space that we’re getting and that we’re getting an office.
So that’s a big thing.
I don’t want to have a bunch of computer equipment laying around on the kitchen table.
Yeah, this is really cool.
I like the two tone wood.
Matches the fan really nicely.
Okay, let’s take a look at this living space.
The really beautiful large coffee table.
Wow, that’s huge.
And i wanted to invite you guys to sit down and try this out.
So you can really see what it would be like if you were staying here.
It’s like palm trees and you can see the reef.
Wow, this is huge.
Yeah, this is huge.
This is a pretty immense veranda.
I want a hammock right here.
And that’s the thing, you really have enought space here to play with.
You’ve got views to the water there.
I wish that beach was right here.
You know that’s going to be one of the big problems.
The one big thing for me is to be on the beach.
It’s literally a 20 second walk to the beach.
That’s something that we definitely want to have here.
So you can see really nicely appointed stainless steel appliances throughout.
It’s got really nice granite countertops.
There’s just not a lot of them.
I feel really enclosed in here.
You feel like this is a little small for you? i think what they did was choose to feature the living area.
They know that’s where you’re going to be spending the vast majority of your time.
It’s not like you cook a lot.
I don’t cook, but all our friends know that.
And so when they come over they always bring all the food.
And they always kind of take over.
And so it’s also kind of like the gathering place.
So you want to have it open and big enough to accommodate everybody.
This is nice, i love the bed.
I do like having the tv there, that’s a good thing.
This is better than we have at home.
A little bigger and a little better.
I think Ron’s really excited about the price.
I can probably get over the directly on the beach thing because of the price.
More important to me is the amenities and the livability of it long term.
So we either have to lower our expectations or increase what we’re willing to pay.
So this is the unit as i said that I’m going to be showing you.
How much of their savings are they willing to risk? They’re asking $525,000 for this.
This is the jaguar temple i guess.
You can tell by the big jaguar head.
Dissatisfied by a life focused on work, Ron and Lisa are moving from Charlotte to Belize, hoping for a more basic way of living.
Ever since we went down to Belize, we talked about that would be the place that we would want to end up one day.
It’s always been like a dream to end up here.
We never really imagined it could actually happen to us.
Ancient Mayan ruins are tourist hot spots in Belize.
Archeologists continue to dig for uncovered treasures.
And the descendants of the Maya live in Belize, retaining the customs of their ancestors.
So i guess this was the palace, one of the residences.
This is another 400 a.
Time period i guess.
It’s supposed to be two story.
This would be the master bedroom? Yeah, i guess so.
I think if we find something that’s above our budget, we would ask ourselves well in ten years are we going to care about this or not.
If we’re happy living there then it’s worth the extra money.
Let’s just grind it up.
Oh my gosh.
Hey look, it comes fully furnished.
Got some pottery there.
You wanna keep this one on the list as a possibility.
I think we should keep this one on the list.
But with a budget of $425,000, buying their dream home could put a strain on their savings.
There seems to be a lot of workable space in here.
I wish that beach was right here.
Ari decides to throw caution to the wind with an exclusive beach front property.
If Ron and Lisa can stretch their budget further, the perfect home is on the horizon.
So this is the unit as i said.
It’s a two bedroom, two bath, 1,600 square foot.
Right up on the front, ocean front.
They are asking $525,000.
What? Take a breath, breath in, breath out.
The reason I’m showing you this, even though it’s quite a bit above your initial budget, is i think you’re going to see how it has hit all those high points for you.
If you want those things this is what you need to be spending.
Shall we take a look inside? Yeah, all right let’s go inside.
Guys, welcome to a-2.
Oh my God.
This is unbelievable.
I had a feeling you might have that reaction.
I love the wood and everything in here.
All important Balinese furniture.
This feels like a home and there’s plenty of seating.
I loved all the hardwoods inside and it just takes your breath away.
There’s so many beautiful things to look at.
And it just feels so solid.
It’s exactly what you’d like your dream of your home in Belize to look like.
Wow, i guess these are all local hardwoods.
Yes, this is mixed Belesian hardwood.
The granite on the countertop that wraps all the way around is also of Belisian origin.
Really? Yes they are.
You’ve got a beautiful open layout into the dining room.
So if you’re hanging out here preparing some snacks, you can talk to your guests there.
You can talk to your guests here.
When i walked into the kitchen i almost fell down i was so excited.
It was so beautiful.
The kitchen definitely inspired me to at least think about learning to cook.
I’m in trouble.
Come and check out this master bedroom guys.
Super high ceilings, crown molding throughout.
Lots of that mixed Belisian hardwood that you guys like to much.
Yeah, this is gorgeous.
Nice, lots of natural light in here.
Totally off the hook.
I see somebody putting ketchup on their hamburger.
I don’t know if i want to see that from my bed.
I think that even though it is ground level, the verandas really private.
You feel really private when you’re inside the main area.
And i really, really love this condo.
When Ari first told us the price, i was just like that price is very hard.
I wasn’t surprised about his reaction to the budget.
I know he was shocked.
Since we’re going to be moving here full time it has to be perfect.
What Lisa wants Lisa gets usually.
Let’s dump one of them and that way it’ll be a lot easier.
Should they hold on to their savings, or go for broke? So, what do you think? I’ve been dying to come here.
They have these intertubes you can float in and they drop down like beer and rum punch.
So we should totally go swimming.
After years of planning Ron and Lisa are ready to make their island dream come true.
i actually don’t have any concerns that we won’t love it, just because the dream has been building.
But to stay with their plan of less work, they might have to live with less savings.
House one satisfies most of their must haves.
But it is listed for $475,000.
The price is a bit of a stretch.
You can see it’s a very nice open flow concept.
House two provides financial peace of mind.
The price point is $399,900.
But may not add up.
i feel really enclosed in here.
To their dream of a home.
I wish that beach was right here.
Over budget at $525,000, house three could mean a big dip into savings.
This feels like a home.
But if they’re willing to pay the price, the payoff is perfect.
This is what you dream of your home in Belize to look like.
Let’s dump one of them and then that way it’ll be a lot easier.
I know which one i want to dump.
Which one is that? House nummber two.
Okay, i agree.
I couldn’t live in that kitchen and it wasn’t beach front.
The first house we looked at was pretty cool.
And that was a little over what we had talked about spending.
It was $50,000 more, but it was amazing right? You walk in there and it had the curvy walls.
All the bright colors and the second story.
The veranda was pretty small.
Then the last one was.
Can’t even breathe when we walked in there it was so beautiful.
Right on the beach.
And it had that amazing architecture.
It was totally beautiful, i mean the living area.
You had a problem with the privacy.
I did have a problem with the privacy.
Over budget was very difficult to stomach.
So, what do you think? You know, i don’t want to compromise on that second floor because i know that would be a problem.
So what’s it gonna be? Grand Carib.
It’s got a big kitchen, you gotta learn how to cook.
Can you do that? Give me a kiss.
with house one, a moderate stretch of the budget buys the home of their dreams.
Are you liking this? Well that was a lot easier than i thought.
I know there’s like no lines.
That’s good and they have everything that they need.
The island mentality sinks in pretty fast here.
Nothing is an urgent matter.
It’s just like, oh well, it’ll work out.
So it’s like a whole new life because it’s not all worked focused.
It’s more on fun.
What day is it, you know.
It might be tuesday.
What do you feel like doing, what do you want to do.
Give bobby a call and go out on the boat? The condo is working out fantastic.
It’s like the best thing we’ve ever done.
The sun wakes us up with beautiful sunrises.
Just sitting on the veranda, i love that.
You can hear the waves breaking on the reef.
This is exactly what we were looking for.
The feeling’s really private even though we’re part of a really large complex.
Yeah, that was a surprise.
I wanna take a nap.
I think we have time.
We’ve gotten to know a lot of the neighbors.
It’s like an instant family.
This is paradise, you’re moving to paradise.
We love to go snorkleling and riding bikes.
We like swimming and running on the beach.
If i could sum up this whole experience, i would just say living the dream.
That’s what we’re doing.